Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One in four adults read no books at all in the past year *gasp*

Actually, I thought the stats on readers were lower so it was a nice surprise to see that a good percentage of the population enjoys reading, even if it’s just one book a year (yeah, I know, there are some weird people out there, I tell ya LOL).

Anywho, I found these numbers quite interesting, especially the ones that refer to women and romance novels. Enjoy...


One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. The AP-Ipsos poll was conducted from August 6 to 8 and involved telephone interviews with 1,003 adults. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
  • Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices. The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year—half read more and half read fewer. (Surely they jest! Most romance readers I know read that amount and more in ONE week!)

  • In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled Reading at Risk found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.

  • Who are the 27 percent of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn’t read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.

  • Among those who said they had read books, the median figure—with half reading more, half fewer—was nine books for women and five for men. The figures also indicated that those with college degrees read the most, and people aged 50 and up read more than those who are younger.

  • People from the West and Midwest are more likely to have read at least one book in the past year. Southerners who do read, however, tend to read more books, mostly religious books and romance novels, than people from other regions.

  • Whites read more than blacks and Hispanics, and those who said they never attend religious services read nearly twice as many as those who attend frequently.

  • The Bible and religious works were read by two-thirds in the survey, more than all other categories. Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries were all cited by about half, while one in five read romance novels. Every other genre—including politics, poetry and classical literature—were named by fewer than five percent of readers.

  • More women than men read every major category of books except for history and biography. Industry experts said that confirms their observation that men tend to prefer nonfiction. (AP)

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11 comment(s):

Anonymous donna said...

i wonder if all the people who dont answer their phones fill the category of 'busy reading'

i screen all calls by voice mail or caller id

8/22/2007 05:04:00 PM  

Blogger Sunny said...

Wow- I would DIE if I didn't read at least two books a week....and thats a BARE minimum!!!!!!!!

How do they survive?

8/22/2007 05:19:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

This is bad. It proves that people are too busy these days and don't take the time to stop and smell the roses... or pick up a book and read.

And to think HP7 was just released.

8/22/2007 05:25:00 PM  

Blogger Pepper-Anne Doty said...

This is why I don't have a tv in any room of my house except where my work out equipment is. There are just too many excuses anymore that people have for not reading, television being one of the biggest I think!

8/22/2007 05:40:00 PM  

Anonymous Babz said...

Agree with Sunny - I read at least 2 books a week. I cannot imagine going with less.

Petra has a point. My mom is an avid reader, be it romance or some historical, yet she doesn't read much nowadays, she's too busy earning money, which is sad, as she earns money for me, and I use it to buy books for myself. :(

8/23/2007 07:35:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

And I thought I was a bad reader. Seriously, people need to turn of their TV sometimes and read. Much more of a value, at times more enjoyable, not to mention a great influence on your kids.

8/23/2007 10:01:00 AM  

Anonymous karamia said...

I have read that while reading to your kids is good for them, actually seeing you read books is a better indicator of how much they will read when grown up.
And I was at a party last night and this woman declared that she had just finished a book like it was some monumental achievement. It was the Other Boleyn Girl and she was amazed that I had heard of it! She was even more amazed that I had read other books by PG. I guess some people just roll in a different world. Sad, because there is so much to experience through reading that you can't get any other way.

8/23/2007 01:09:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

"Sad, because there is so much to experience through reading that you can't get any other way."

This is so true. I can't imagine a world without books as that would be a very boring one. Watching is one thing but reading is another. Just look at books adapted into movies, for example HP. No matter how good the films are, reading the books are still so much better.

8/23/2007 09:24:00 PM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

Reading? What's that?

I've been reading comic books (specifically Whedon's Astonishing X-Men). Mmm. Scott Summers.

I don't understand how people don't read, but then I'm the type who reads cereal boxes. So. Although, I do think there is some TV out there that is on par, literary value-wise, with books (mostly, I like genre). Writing is writing, after all, IMO.

8/24/2007 12:58:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

We keep saying we're free people but we never exercise our freedom of thought. Reading a book makes our minds active, but er, we'd rather watch TV. No wonder many people are stupid that simple things like electing the right president becomes such a complete failure.

8/25/2007 01:21:00 AM  

Blogger Kate Diamond said...

Wow! This is a disturbing figure. I say that as a reader, a writer, and a high school English teacher.

Thanks for sharing the survey. I wonder about the story behind these statistics... for instance, I'm betting the over-50 crowd reads more because many of them are retired, and/or their kids are out of the house. They're not working overtime and spending half their lives in a minivan on the way to soccer practice.

Of course, I always have a book in my car and I read at stoplights.

8/27/2007 03:12:00 PM